Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Can Solidarity Paradigm Be a Catalyst for the Sustainability of Tourism?

Written By

Mustafa Doğan

Submitted: 06 June 2021 Reviewed: 20 June 2021 Published: 27 July 2021

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.98992

From the Edited Volume

Heritage - New Paradigm

Edited by Daniela Turcanu-Carutiu

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The destructive effects of tourism on society, the environment, and the economy are among the phenomena that are widely known and discussed, like many other industries. Tourism, as one of the most reckless events of consumption fetishism, has a dynamism that affects sectoral development too on a demand basis. In these respects, it is considered that tourism should be rehabilitated in order to be sustainable despite its many positive effects. Although the “consumer and individualist spirit” of tourism is distant to collective, solidaristic, and restrictive-controlling approaches, it is expected that there will be a need for more interaction and association with these aspects in the new paradigm areas of the future. This study focuses on the habitual attitudes of tourism with the possible expectations of the future and discusses the solidarity tourism forms for the sustainability of tourism. It is clear that is needed to ask the economic, egocentric approaches in tourism. The paper predicts the more responsible, acceptable, fair, and conscious tourism can be possible if the spirit and face of tourism are able to turn to the solidaristic, and sustainable direction.


  • Tourism
  • Solidarity
  • Sustainability

1. Introduction

The period that tourism emerged as a sector or industry coincides with the time that travel was begun to realize as a leisure activity. The most striking feature of this period is the industrialized economic structure, large industrial cities, and predominantly low and middle-income working classes in urbanized social life. Before this period, of course, there were some travel forms such as the ‘Grand Tour’ in the 17th and 18th centuries which European and especially the British nobility saw as a means of educating their children [1] and ¨Orient Express” tours that the rich and noble classes travel to the East for learning, curiosity, excitement, and adventure in the 19th century. These travels were luxury activities of tiny wealthy classes as a limited and small numbers and tourism were not exist as an industry yet.

It is after the 1960s, the travel became massive, widespread as a leisure activity, and the tourism industry was developed with the destinations, facilities, services, and all supplier [2]. The motivations of the process were basically the ending of two World wars, opening of the international airspaces and borders; booming rapidly of the civil air transport as well as land, sea, and railway infrastructures and transportation vehicles. On the other hand, the employees who occupy demand side of the tourism, achieved improvements relatively in the working conditions and incomes. In this period, a suitable product has been created according to the new production relations. Finally, the tour operators as the main actor and producer of the process created and presented the ¨package tour -inclusive tour- holiday package¨ as a new touristic product to the masses.

In fact, early time of tourism the flows were revealed as a periodical displacement movement from the developed countries towards the developing or undeveloped countries; from the wealthy north countries to the poorer south countries for resting and enjoying in summer seasons. This great movement of people has significant positive and negative consequences on nature, societies, cultures and economies. Package tour products were created in focusing on the sea, sun and sand, and attractive climatic destinations. After that, tourism developed based on the cities as a part of heritage or culture and it developed the facilities and services such as hotels, restaurants, transporting, and tour activities in the cities. The hosted countries have extended with heritage tourism throughout the developed countries’ capitals such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Berlin. It is clear that tourism has developed significantly as a result of the increase in leisure time and incomes, changing technology, and transportation opportunities, and motivated many types of tourism.

Today, tourism has become a major economic sector and not only for the developing poor countries but also developed wealthy countries in the world. However, rapid expansions of destinations have many negative aspects with regard to the potential of inflicting damages on nature, communities, cultures and societies and this dual nature of tourism, projected onto its forecasted growth, requires an urgent integration of preventative approaches in all tourism strategies, development plans and actions [3]. As a result of the huge and seasonal human mobility, tourism has also caused many problems at the local and global levels. More than one billion travels have realized annually to an outbound destination independently or organized since 2012 and revenues from visitor spending have grown faster than the world economy [4]. Heritage tourism, coastal-sea tourism, and sub-types of those are largely responsible for these figures but interestingly, tourism has been continuing to develop with many niches and hedonist types. It is one of the largest economies of the world and everywhere has a dual function such as arrival destination and sending country for the tourism. Though the economic advantages of tourism tend to be appreciated by the industry and governments, the negative effects have also been begun to consider the social, environmental, and economic. This is a stage inevitably that causing damage to the physical and moral assets of nature and people anymore.


2. The realities of tourism and sustainability

Tourism has a significant driver that can transform everything and everywhere. It is also fostered by many supplier industries and has a integrated international relationships. While developing tourism and increasing facilities have shown to maturity level for many popular destinations of the world there are also recognized some issues dependant the tourism development. The economic benefits of tourism often come at a high cost paid by nature and societies, endangering the core assets of tourism itself: nature and human cultures [3]. This was seen with some dimensions such as environmental, social, economic in first destinations where tourism developed as remarked by Doxey [5] and Butler [6] in many countries around the world. All of these changes were not seen only on physical assets but also social and moral values and it was perceived positive or negative depends on benefits of the local communities. However, the residents of communities dependent on tourism can clearly differentiate between its economic benefits and the social costs and negative consequences can be seen tolerable towards further tourism development [7]. In some cases, the economic benefits of tourism are more than outweighed by the environmental and social costs of tourism [8] and it was revealed in some researches [9, 10, 11] that the residents’ perceptions or support for tourism more positive attitudes or support for tourism among those who either had a direct relationship with the tourism industry or perceived they would gain benefits from tourism. The economic interests are still importance as a decisive motivation particularly for residents who has an income from tourism, instead of to care of the social and environmental issues.

Although the economic advantages of tourism tend to be highlighted by the industry, the adverse effects have also been considered [12] and even so, the development of tourism and alternative tourism markets has been questioned by many scholars [3, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18] who criticize the focus on their commodification. Residents are likely to understand the benefits that come with tourism (e.g., job creation, better incomes, improvement of existing facilities and infrastructure and opportunities to meet new and interesting people) just as much as the costs such as crowding, increased costs, higher taxes [19]. Tourism has also an important role in enhancing cultural exchanges, improving living standards, supporting cultural preservation and stimulating locals’ pride for their community or culture; however, it does not necessarily mean that they are always the results obtained and instead of exchanging cultural experiences, in many cases locals become ‘attractions’ for tourists, altering their own traditions and culture to exploit their commercial potential, and gradually forgetting their importance [3]. Commodificiation of the autentic-local cultures with imitaiton has become as a common picture that is expected as a performance from the local communities in destinations.

When residents experience negative consequences such as crowding, noise pollution, vandalism, and even negative environmental impacts, they will be more likely to oppose tourism development [20]. When residents perceive more costs than benefits, they are more likely to have negative perceptions about tourism activities and therefore demonstrate a lack of support for tourism development [21]. But residents living in areas with a more mature tourist industry are more aware of both positive and negative environmental impacts [22]. Lankford [23] found residents had more negative attitudes towards the benefits of tourism and support for tourism, and its environmental impacts than business owners, government employees, and officials. For instance, in the last decades, there are two key mechanisms that stimulate conflicts in the city destinations: the number of tourists in relation to the number of residents and its distribution in time and space; indecent behavior of tourists [24]. It is clear that such positive and negative attitudes have been linked to residents’ level of support for tourism and relationships with tourism.

Tourism as a complex sociocultural dimension of modernity has the same general principles of capitalist consumer culture and commodification is viewed as an all-pervasive characteristic of modern capitalism and involves commodity production and standardization of products, tastes, and experiences [25]. The negative impacts of tourism are not limited by these, it extends along with commercialization, imitation. The dominant way commercially successful destinations have organized touristic experience has been to model themselves as closely as possible on the ego and also other commodities sold on the basis of their intangible qualities may be implicated in the same narcissistic ego structure [26]. It is seen that there is a gap between general awareness and preferences on the one hand and the practices and behavior of tourists and tourist industries on the other hand [27]. The power of the consumer can be a major force for progress towards greater sustainability by the tourism industry, acting as a rationale for change [28] but, the transformation of tourism from being an elitist activity is primarily related to the industry’s cessation of being tourist-oriented. Basically, the challenges are stuck between the objectives of sustainability and ego-based consumption. There is a vital need for the tourism industry to capitalize on this awareness for a wider range of product information and so promote moves towards greater levels of sustainability in the industry. The current system of neoliberalism and its attendant culture-ideology of consumerism are inherently unsustainable, it is needed to consciously move away from this value system to one less damaging [29]. In this context, the sustainability approach can provide available ground for the rehabilitation of the industry.

Sustainability and competitiveness go hand in hand as destinations and businesses can become more competitive through the efficient use of resources, the promotion of biodiversity conservation, and actions to tackle climate change and it is a key part of tourism policies [4]. Indeed, the sustainability approach that emerged as an environmental reflex in the 1980s, has been adapted for all industries as well as tourism. Sustainability can be seen as a new correction movement to counter consideration of capitalist development the consumerism and destructive tendencies of the current international economic system and to underline the importance of the needs and rights of the next generations [12]. It is possible to read as a multi-reflex against the consumerist mindset of the individuals, industries, and economic structures. A central tenet of sustainable tourism is the consideration of the relationship that exists between residents and tourists [30]. As a part of sustainability, it is needed to consider the local stakeholders and particularly local communities by decisive directors of the tourism industry. Concepts such as sustainable tourism development are seen by many as the answer along with the enhanced planning and managing of tourism [8]. Sustainability as a perspective tries to protect nature and to minimize the negative and destructive effects of tourism on the continuing life is increasingly being recognized but, as a concept [3] it cannot be achieved if mass tourism practices are not adjusted to integrate sustainability. One key to successful sustainable tourism is to strike a balance between providing necessary income to residents and not overexploiting the resources [31]. But, perspective should not be limited to the economy and should not be thought only to transfer income to the host, the resources such as social construct and heritage should be considered by all. Sustainable tourism forms must be thought about and combined with its economic, social, cultural, and environmental dimensions.


3. Solidarity paradigm

The theory of emotional solidarity comes out of sociology and the work of Durkheim [32] and he posits that the most basic of religions have two fundamental attributes, beliefs and behaviors, that serve to bring about solidarity among members. Durkheim [32] describes solidarity through three variables possessed by the group: shared behavior, shared beliefs, and interaction. According to him, there is an emotion-based sense of community in such groups, and the norms that are part of the community constitute a strong force constraining individuals and also there is a strong and specific collective conscience that enhances uniformity of behavior across individuals [33]. The concept of solidarity is complex, multi-dimensional, normative, and escapes a single definition [34]. Specifically, solidarity is defined that is the existence of a given set of actors to the degree that they are directly connected to each other and there is an absence of subgroups or cliques [33]. Oosterlynck et al. [35] underlines four main sources of solidarity as interdependence, shared norms and values, struggle, and encounter; Agustin and Jorgensen [36] differentiate between autonomous solidarity, civic solidarity, and institutional solidarity; Gaztambide-Fernandez [37], distinguishes between relational solidarity, transformative solidarity, and creative solidarity; also he thinks when informed by the failures of responses such as multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism to the problem of human difference, solidarity remains an important possibility. Considering these three dimensions of solidarity the debates on realities of social and economic irrationalism can find some affordable solutions.

Hume ([38], 215–216) emphasizes that emotions guide reason and decision-making, claiming that reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the will, and that reason can never oppose passion in directing. Woosnam and et all. [39] offer the theory of emotional solidarity, put forth by Emile Durkheim, as a theoretical framework to examine the relationship between residents and tourists. Woosnam et al. [39] conceive of solidarity arising from the shared beliefs and behaviors (as well as interaction) among individuals. Wallace and Wolf [40] considered emotional solidarity to be the “we togetherness” that binds people. The emotional solidarity refers to a feeling of closeness or bonding that individuals experience with one another in a relationship of mutuality that goes beyond simple financial transactions [41, 42, 43]. So, emotional solidarity is a very important component of tourism that is able to create a functional relationship for the solidarity sides and it is considered the degree of closeness between in- individuals, whereby a sentiment of ‘we together’ is championed over the notion of a ‘self-versus-other’ dichotomy that is so prevalent within the tourism literature [39].

Solidarity requires actual duties to action, and one does something for the others. In cases where there is a lack of social solidarity, individuals can have difficulties coping with disruptions and cooperating to respond to them and it could also raise the collapse [44]. A basic aspect of solidarity is its focus on the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed, and victims of violence or tyranny [45], sometimes from the developed and rich to the undeveloped and poor. It includes the national and international scales as social and economic. Solidarity is, on the one hand, related to a formal dimension that identifies group membership, such as having a passport of the same country; on the other hand, is an emotional dimension of identifying, for example, with an ‘imagined’ national community [46]. The persons who are generally a member of the welfare communities or countries, choose to do something for disadvantaged people or communities. There are many ways of solidarity with social and economic dimensions for the interacted people in tourism. It is possible to evaluate that can be seen as a collective balancing or adjusting movement that is fostered by the emotional motivations of tourists rather than the residents.


4. Possibilities of solidarity-sustainability in tourism

Tourism is recognized as a functional means for the development of the local communities, particularly those in rural areas. But this approach is usually limited by an economic perspective and is no cared the social sides and impacts on the local communities. In fact, this is a two-way process. On one hand, local tourism provides travelers with the opportunity to have a sense of a place where it is possible to share the traditions, stories, and experiences of the locals; on the other hand, this sharing reinforces the value of the rural way of life and the self-esteem of the community members and it can help build a more balanced relationship between host and guest [12]. Experiencing of the solidarity with those visited can be highly valued both of tourists and residents can mean living with together learning more about for both sides. Therefore, the form of the relationship between the tourist and those visited is one of the distinguishing features of this type of tourism.

The determinants of support for tourism development have not considered the role personal connections with visitors play in forging a positive perspective [47]. Two key interrelated concepts are critical in the focus on touristic solidarity: equality and empathy. Equality assumes an equality in the status and rights of the tourist and those visited and that there are reciprocal benefits for both; empathy, as the emotional and experiential understanding of others [48, 49], is necessary to understand local people and how they live their daily lives. Indeed, it is an essential trope of this type of tourism that it is a conduit for developing knowledge of other places and other peoples [50] and for developing cross-cultural understanding [51]. The sustainable versions of tourism that carry such ideas as the volunteer, social concerns, fairness, pro-poor and solidarity have similar objectives of strengthening local economic development and poverty alleviation. That is why, the concept of solidarity as applied to tourism can provide a useful and functional connection between a number of different but related concepts.

The sustainable in tourism have focused on nature conservation and more humanitarian projects and are at the core of a fair vision of tourism [52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57]. It tries to strengthen a primary responsibility on tourists to develop relationships with local communities. It is impossible to achieve successful and sustainable tourism management without securing the support of the local residents who are a community’s key stakeholders in tourism [58]. Putting the relationship between tourists and the residents on a more equal footing is one of the significant tasks in developing sustainable tourism. Consumers are already making decisions based on environmental, social, and economic quality for the products and are keen to transfer these habits to the purchase of tourism products [28]. The responsibility of tourism industry is the basic desire to obtain social, economic and environmental justice for all involved in tourism. But what exactly is this responsibility being ambiguous [59] and raises the question of how a tourism that fulfills these objectives can be realized and Goodwin [57] particularly underlines the need to consider the net benefits for the poor.

Some studies [ 47, 60, 61, 62] demonstrate that emotional solidarity is a significant factor in residents’ attitudes that support the types of tourism that are close to a sustainable development model. Woosnam et al. [63, 64] found similar findings on the divergent perceptions of emotional solidarity between residents and tourists. Leap and Thompsan [44] argue that solidarities grounded in collective identities can act as important mediators between social heterogeneity and resilience and it will be especially important to account for solidarities and collective identities tied to rurality. It signs also crucial for tourism researches on rural areas and solidarity perspective. Doğan [12] discovered a distinctive practice of solidarity based on experimental and emotional, in a village destination where has a unique cultural heritage and ecomuseum. Riberio et al. [65] examined the solidarity from the visitor perspective and pointed out in particular, the relationships involving visitors’ feeling welcomed by residents, emotional closeness with residents, and sympathetic understanding with residents and loyalty were all mediated by satisfaction. Residents have been more empathetic towards tourists in cultural heritage research because the latter has indicated the desire to understand the local culture and preserve local ways of life [66]. Doğan [12] discovered a distinctive and useuful practice of solidarity based on experimental and emotional, in a village destination where has a unique cultural heritage and ecomuseum. Riberio et al. [65] examined the solidarity from the visitor perspective and pointed out in particular, the relationships involving visitors’ feeling welcomed by residents, emotional closeness with residents, and sympathetic understanding with residents and loyalty were all mediated by satisfaction. The destination loyalty can be supported by the emotional solidarity that poses in visitors and residents. The occurring of the visit in a sympathetic and welcoming interaction among the sides enhances the solidarity spirit along with sustainable benefit.


5. Conclusion

Solidarity paradigm and sustainability emphasize similar aims and possibilities for the different destinations and all stakeholders. In fact, the solidarity paradigm also helps to question how to realize the sustainability targets in any destination. It might be perceived as a tool to practice sustainable benefits and directions. The sustainability approach in tourism is seen as an opportunity to transform everything including people, nature, and culture. In this context, the solidarity paradigm enhances the sustainability of tourism, particularly in each destination, and contributes tangible opportunities to stakeholders. Although the visitors and residents have a flexible potential for the transformation, in fact, it is more vital to transform other stakeholders such as producers and suppliers. The consumerist and tourist-oriented view in tourism might be criticized throughout the sustainable and solidarity principles. It is likely that to find some opportunities to check it again. It is clear that the new trends such as sharing companies, networks, and improved technologies in tourism could present new opportunities to the people and communities but, pure capitalist logic and with the objectives that focused on the market cannot be provided benefits expecting from the future. So, if sustainability is seen as a correction movement in tourism, the solidarity paradigm can be one of the catalyzers of the change.

It is undoubted that the sustainability of the tourism industry loads functional duties for all stakeholders. Today, it is too risky to continue with traditional approaches in tourism. There is an important wind towards to sustainability phenomenon that is dragged by global warming and climate change, worldwide. Under the press of the sustainable growth targets, governmental politics, and plans, in particular, the accommodation and travel businesses have started to practice greener programs, and the environmental sensitivity efforts increased beyond marketing in the last two decades. However, environmentalism is only one side of sustainability and it is needed to improve particularly socio-cultural and economic dimensions. Solidarity paradigm as normative perspective and experiential practices can be useful in these fields. In the future, tourism should be moved to a position that includes more interaction between visitors and residents along with equal, fair, and cooperative.

Many types of tourism where are realized in rural areas such as agro, nature-based, ecological have an important transformative potential in order to develop a solidaristic and sustainable mindset among the residents and visitors on the current structure. On one hand, the rising of independent tours, and technologic easier support the developments of these opportunities, on the other side, the businesses of the industry should contribute and extend the sustainable practices for the other tourism forms. The raised awareness of visitors and residents, changing prefers and the new factors on the decision-making process may challenge to alter the mechanic, hedonist, and non-humanist tourism. Hence, it can be predicted that is needed to ask the economic, egocentric approaches in tourism.

The more responsible, acceptable, fair, and conscious tourism can be possible if the spirit and face of tourism are able to turn to the solidaristic, and sustainable direction. The habitual attitudes of tourism must be asked in terms of solidarity and sustainability for a better future. It should be expected that there is a need for more interaction and association with these aspects in the new paradigm areas of the future.


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Written By

Mustafa Doğan

Submitted: 06 June 2021 Reviewed: 20 June 2021 Published: 27 July 2021